Friday, May 27, 2022

Farm Laws Repealed: At Ghazipur Border, Announcement Met With Cautious Enthusiasm

The farmers are not-committal at Ghazipur border to when they would return back to their homes.

Farm Laws Repealed: At Ghazipur Border, Announcement Met With Cautious Enthusiasm
Farmers raise slogans during their protest against the Center's new farm laws at Ghazipur border in New Delhi. PTI

It is festivities all around Ghazipur border connecting Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. In the afternoon sweets are being distributed. Crackers are being burst. Protesters break into an impromptu dance.

However, the people are non-committal on when they would return to their homes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement that the government will repeal the three farm laws that sparked protests around the borders of the national capital, as soon as Parliament meets for the winter session, is being met with cautious enthusiasm.

"The decision is a delayed one but a correct one. But it should be clear that we aren't going back home just after hearing this announcement," says Veer Singh, a farmer from western UP. "We will wait for the farm laws to be formally repealed in Parliament."

He adds that there are other demands of farmers, like better and guaranteed minimum support price that the government will have to take up in right earnest.

Amid spontaneous celebrations, one also hears jeers.

"At least they have now accepted that we are farmers. Earlier it was being said we aren't farmers. We were being mocked as Khalistanis," a protester said aloud.

The tricolour flutters at various places under the flyover at Ghazipur border. There are cut-outs of Mahendra Singh Tikait and Rakesh Tikait. Even Bhagat Singh, wearing a hat, peers down towards the crowds from one of the hoardings.

Activists of the All-India Democratic Women's Association take out a small march, with Subhashini Ali leading the way. She smiles and greets farmers as she passes them. They smile back and fold their hands.

The festive atmosphere does suggest that Modi's announcement has come as a relief for those who have been protesting for one year.

However, it may be too early to predict when the agitation will end. Farmers are waiting for Parliament ro repeal the three laws and will take a call only after that.

They seem to be in no hurry to call off their agitation.